Haha, is "silent" really silent (meaning we use context clues to know it's plural) or is the pronunciation just really similar to the singular form?
I noticed that many non-natives have a hard time hearing/distinguishing the short "i" sound at the end of some pluralized words, and many Duo learners call it "silent", when in fact it isn't. That's why I used quotes in my post above.
So the answer is that it's not really silent, it's just that the pronunciation is similar to the singular form.
That makes sense, thanks! Out of curiosity, how would you describe the pronunciation of the short "i"?
This is one of those situations where it's best to hear the difference between a word's singular and plural forms, as pronounced by the same person. Open this link: https://forvo.com/user/potestasity/pronounced-words/ and click on the listen buttons for the following words:
- taur (bull) - It has two syllables: tá-ur.
- tauri (bulls) - It has that short "i" sound at the end, and the word still has only two syllables: tá-uri.
- taurii (the bulls) - It has a normal "i" sound at the end, which is long enough to make the word have three syllables: tá-u-rii.